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here. they asked us what is going on. nobody really got the news. when they told them pope benedict xvi was redesignisignry didn't know. actually, he can, but obviously, no pope has done that for 700 years. so no wonder people are aware of that. for now on that may change the course of the catholic church in the future as well as pope benedict xvi is setting an example. if you don't have the strength to carry on let someone younger and more strength to carry on the mission. >> it certainly is a monument ool announcement. claudio, thank you very much. >>> this morning we spoke with greg burke the senior communication adviser to the holy see in rome. we began by asking him how much of a surprise this was? >> it is a surprise. i people think had fair warning. it was a few years ago in a book called "light of the world," a long interview with a german journalist. the journalist asked the pope if he would resign. and he said something interesting. in the midst of a candle and all that stuff. he said now is not the time. it's not the time to run when you're in great risk and emergency period.
filled st. peter's square for pope benedict's final blessing. four days he will step down as head of the catholic church. the vatican is dealing with new allegations today involving one of its cardinals. anne thompson has more. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, erica. it's a mixture of joy and intrigue here in vatican city. this morning catholics and the curious jammed st. peter's square to hear pope benedict's final blessing. this got not only a blessing but the pope also shed light on why he resigned. god had called him on the mountain to live a life of more prayer and meditation but he wasn't going to abandon the church. the 85-year-old pontiff said that god had had asked him to live this life with the same kind of dedication but to do so more in a way appropriate to his age and strength. now, this very joyous event took place against a background of scandal. there are new headlines in britain this morning, three priests and a former priest accused the scottish cardinal keith o'brien of inappropriate behavior going back some 30 years. they want cardinal o'brien to resign
of benedict's papacy, while scandal and intrigue engulf some of the men who will choose the next pope. even in his final days as pope, scandal continues to dog benedict's papacy and the church. italian newspapers headline rumors of blackmail and conspiracy that the vatican vehemently denies. american cardinal roger mahony has ignored calls to stay home from a conclthat chooses the next pope because of his role protecting abusive priests. scottish cardinal keith o'brien, who commented on mahony's situation last week. >> someone has erred and we have anoth another. >> reporter: today cardinal o'brien resigned after being accused by three priests and former priest of inappropriate behavior going back to the 1980s. ugly headlines that one vatican watcher says will shape the deliberations of the conclave. >> some of this is politics, but other parts of it are the long delayed, reckoning with problems that require facing and correcting in the church. >> reporter: the scandals have left many of the faithful weary. >> i'm a true believer and i hope that catholics will get a better name these days.
week we'll be live at the vatican as we have the final days of pope benedict, and we'll be there at the final public outing and take a look at what is next for the world's more than 1 billion catholics and who may be his successor. that's all next week on today. >> a lot of interesting stories there. we'll go back inside to natalie morales with a check of headlines. >> good morning, everyone. as many as 30 million americans are in the path of a major winter storm that brought snow and high winds to southern arizona on wednesday and forced the first ever suspension of mass play at the world golf championship. heavy snow is causing dangerous white out conditions in kansas and nebraska and hundreds of flights have been canceled. a stunning development today at the bail hearing for south after an olympic star oscar pistorius. prosecutors reveal the lead investigator in the murder case against pistorius is himself facing seven attempted murder charges over a police shooting in 2011. meantime nike said today it has suspended its contract with pistorius accused of gunning do
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